Your Social Media Plan should not include shooting an elephant like the Godaddy CEO.
When developing your Social Media Marketing Plan you have to take into consideration your actions outside of business. Social Media has made businesses human. Humans and their actions can help or hurt business because their actions may be amplified through Social Media. If you do something upsetting to a large number of people (even if it has nothing to do with your business) it may cost you.
Consider the GoDaddy CEO who recently shot an elephant. Elephants are animals that human beings love. As far as wild animals go, elephants rank near the top. Children ride elephants at the zoo. Then there is Dumbo, the flying elephant animation. You see elephants helping people in third world countries by moving trees and brush.
The CEO of GoDaddy shot and killed an elephant. He’s been defending himself ever since. People are attacking Bob Parsons and it is spreading through social media faster than you can say, “racy, sexy television ads that have nothing to do with domain names.”
The bigger you are, the bigger your company, and the more important you are to your company, the more your actions can hurt you even when it has nothing to do with business.
The GoDaddy CEO claims that he was helping save human lives. People are starving in Africa where the elephant was shot and killed. Mr. Parson claims the elephant was trampling the crops and people would starve.
One interviewer suggested the CEO killed the elephant for sport and after the Social backlash he is trying to defend himself by saying it was to save human lives. The interviewer asked Bob Parsons if there were any other pictures of him and his gun sitting next to another big game Dead animal.
Maybe he did save some crops by killing this elephant but the way in which Mr. Parsons has handled it…is not good. People on Facebook, blogs, and Youtube are saying, “Ban Godaddy and take your service elsewhere.”
Believe or don’t believe the Godaddy CEO…but know this. You are a human now and not just a business. The actions you take as a human can affect your business.
One of the companies that I work with is a competitor of GoDaddy and they said that their business has increased and some of their new customers came over from Godaddy because they were upset with Bob Parson’s actions.
In more than one interview I saw with Bob Parsons, he was sarcastic and did not help his cause. The interviewer was fair in asking the questions that the GoDaddy CEO answered defensively and agressively.
The probable truth about the CEO shooting an elephant
It may have saved human lives.
Bob Parsons did it for sport and that is why he plays rock music and posts pictures straddling his big game trophy kill.
The people of Zimbabwe think Bob Parsons is a hero…but they don’t buy any domain names.
If the GoDaddy CEO handled the interviews with less sarcasm and he demonstrated understanding of why people are upset, he may have built his fan and customer base even bigger.
As part of managment and leadership training your company should consider media training and Social Media training.
Let us know how you think Bob Parson handled this situation below.